Money Management Articles

Budgeting

Financial fraud and seniors: What you need to know - 1/21/2016
What can you do to protect yourself or your older loved ones from this kind of crime? The Minnesota Society of CPAs (MNCPA) provides insights on how fraud can happen and steps you can take to avoid it.

Have you attained your American Dream? - 1/21/2016
The Minnesota Society of CPAs (MNCPA) offers some perspective and a few practical tips you can use to try to turn your situation around.

Preventing financial infidelity in your relationship - 12/15/2015
The recent Ashley Madison hack may have revealed some interesting things about extramarital affairs. However, there are far less obvious forms of infidelity that can be equally damaging to a relationship, one of which is financial infidelity.

Budget-friendly travel tips - 12/15/2015
About 99 million Americans traveled at least 50 miles from home during the last holiday season, according to the American Automobile Association (AAA).

Be a smart shopper for the holidays - 11/30/2015
In past years, Americans' holiday spending has averaged around $700, for a total of $465 billion, according to the National Retail Federation. Get budget tips for this year.

Start planning your summer vacation today - 11/30/2015
It's never too early to start thinking about warm weather, a cruise in the boat or a hike up a mountain. December is the perfect time to think about the money you'll need to meet your summer vacation needs -- especially with your wallets likely wedged open for holiday shopping.

Five things to know about home insurance coverage - 11/13/2015
What would happen if your home was damaged or broken into? Average insurance claims range from about $3,600 for theft to just more than $37,000 for fire or lightning damage, according to ISO, a Verisk Analytics company. When you're making decisions about your home insurance coverage, the Minnesota Society of Certified Public Accountants (MNCPA) recommends keeping this advice in mind.

Aging in place: Four questions to consider - 10/29/2015
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention define "aging in place" as being able to live in one's home and community safely, independently and comfortably, regardless of age, income or ability level.

Why not try wearable technology on for size? - 10/29/2015
Is wearable technology going to be around for a while? It's certainly gaining more traction and popularity each day.

Make sure you've got the right approach to charitable giving this holiday season - 9/30/2015
Make sure you're prepared for the holiday season of giving, not only for your protection, but also so you can get the proper tax benefits from your donation.

Protect your loved ones by learning life insurance basics - 9/30/2015
When you think about life insurance, you may dismiss it as something only older people need. At its very basic, a life insurance policy is taken out on someone's life that pays out when the insured dies, helping to financially protect dependents and loved ones.

Tax considerations (and advantages) for small businesses - 9/2/2015
Are you thinking of launching your own business? Approximately 800,000 new businesses open each year, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics data. When these young companies get started, it's critical for their owners to understand the many rules and regulations that apply to them.

Back to work after retirement: How Social Security, taxes and health care may be affected - 9/2/2015
The old notions about retirement have, well, retired. Rather than leaving work at 65 and going fishing or focusing on gardening, many retirees are celebrating retirement by going back to work.

Tax credits that can help lower college costs - 8/24/2015
Are you looking for ways to minimize the costs of higher education? The average cost of tuition and fees for a four-year college education can range from about $40,000 for in-state students at a public college to nearly $135,000 at a private one, according to College Board data. Fortunately, there are some tax laws that can help lower your outlays.

Coping with overlooked college expenses - 8/24/2015
The Minnesota Society of CPAs (MNCPA) highlights some of the unexpected charges you should anticipate and offers advice on ways to deal with them.

Three things to know about reverse mortgages - 8/4/2015
One of the retirement planning resources that has gained interest in recent years is the reverse mortgage. A reverse mortgage allows you to convert part of the equity in your home into cash without paying additional monthly bills. If you're 62 or older -- and want money to pay off your mortgage, or pay for other expenses -- you may consider a reverse mortgage.

Small business owners beware: Not reporting income paid to vendors can be costly - 8/4/2015
If you are a small-business owner, know that you, too, must send 1099s to nonemployees paid in the course of doing business. The Minnesota Society of CPAs (MNCPA) warns that many small-business owners do not understand the requirements for issuing 1099s, and they can receive hefty fines and costly IRS audits if not complied with properly.

5 steps to boost your home's value - 7/20/2015
If you're planning on putting your house on the market, you'll want to get the best price possible. There are steps you can take to enhance how much you make on the sale, according to the Minnesota Society of CPAs (MNCPA).

Business or hobby? Why the difference matters - 7/20/2015
Were you aware that there are tax implications when you earn money from a hobby? If not, or if you're unsure of all the rules, the Minnesota Society of CPAs (MNCPA) offers these insights on why the distinctions between hobbies and businesses matter and what you need to know if your hobby becomes a business.

Finding ways to cut your phone budget - 7/1/2015
When looking for ways to save, consider rethinking your phone bills. The Minnesota Society of CPAs (MNCPA) offers this advice on how to become a savvy consumer when it comes to budgeting your phone service.

Being financially prepared for college - 7/1/2015
Many parents consider sending a child to college an important financial objective. The College Board reports for a public in-state four-year college, the average tuition for 2014-15 was $9,139. If room and board was included, the average annual education cost was $18,942.

Don't fight over finances! - 6/11/2015
When couples argue, what are they most likely to fight about? You might not be surprised to learn that, according to a Harris Interactive survey on behalf of the American Institute of CPAs, money is the top reason for a marital spat, one that causes disagreements far more frequently than other critical issues.

Get out of debt (and stay out) - 6/11/2015
On average, American households have about $15,000 of credit card debt, according to NerdWallet. If you're struggling to pay off your outstanding balances, or if you're tired of high interest costs, the Minnesota Society of CPAs (MNCPA) explains the best ways to get out from under those bills.

Who's teaching your kids about money? - 5/31/2015
If you think your children aren't learning about money because you're not teaching it, think again. While savvy marketers are telling our kindergartners that they need a certain toy to be happy, credit card companies are peddling instant gratification to our teens.

5 tips to quickly pay off student loan debt - 5/14/2015
Struggling with student loans? You're not alone.

Fraud prevention for seniors - 5/14/2015
While seniors make up 11 percent of the population, they represent 30 percent of consumer fraud and 50 percent of telephone fraud. The Minnesota Society of CPAs (MNCPA) offers the following fraud prevention tips for seniors.

Don't let unexpected costs ruin your retirement! - 4/30/2015
How much do you need to save for retirement? Determining how much you'll spend on housing, food and other fixed expenses may seem relatively easy, but how about the costs that come out of the blue?

Resolving financial concerns for stepfamilies - 4/15/2015
Roughly 1,300 new stepfamilies are created every day, according to the Stepfamily Foundation.  And, 41 percent of all Americans have at least one step relative, based on Pew Research Center findings.

IRA early withdrawal exceptions - 4/15/2015
Choosing an early withdrawal from your IRA can be a costly move, often resulting in unfavorable consequences such as tax penalties and loss of future growth.

Planning for retirement has many taxing issues - 3/15/2015
Individuals today have much greater responsibility in funding their retirement plans -- a responsibility that can become overwhelming as the life expectancy continues to climb.

10 ways to maximize Social Security benefits - 3/15/2015
For most Americans, Social Security retirement benefits typically represent 30 to 60 percent of their retirement income and, yet, according to the National Social Security Association,,LLC, more than 90 percent of Social Security recipients receive less money than to which they are entitled.

Answers to tax questions for the self-employed - 3/2/2015
Will 2015 be the year when you take the leap into self-employment? Even if you're going to start out small with an office in a spare bedroom, there are some important tax issues you should keep in mind before you take the plunge.

Tax solutions for baby boomers - 3/2/2015
The baby boom generation, the children born in the post-World War II years between 1946 and 1964, includes about 76 million people. Now that generation is heading into retirement, with roughly 10,000 boomers expected to retire every day between now and 2030.

Four last-minute tips to lower your taxes - 1/15/2015
Now that the New Year has begun, April 15 will be here before you know it. Have you done all you can to minimize your tax payments and maximize prudent financial planning? If you're not sure, there's still time to make some smart choices before you file this year's tax return.

5 financial mistakes to avoid this year - 1/15/2015
Are you satisfied with the financial decisions you made in 2014? If you're not so sure, this is a good time to resolve to make some changes in 2015.

Beware before you buy: 6 considerations for kids' cell phones - 1/7/2015
Have your kids started asking for cell phones or mobile devices of their own? Usage of mobile devices is growing among the younger set. In fact, 45 percent of parents say they have already purchased or plan to purchase mobile devices for their kids.

How to give wisely during the holidays and beyond - 12/15/2014
Have the holidays made you feel more generous? Nonprofit organizations report receiving 41 percent of their donations between Thanksgiving and New Year's each year, according to Charity Navigator, and their overall charitable contributions are significant.

What you should know about timeshares - 12/15/2014
Now that the holidays are upon us, many people dream of taking a tropical vacation or spending time near a popular attraction. If you're shopping for a getaway, you may have considered a timeshare, an arrangement that generally gives you the right to stay at a certain property for a specified amount of time each year.


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